“When German Christians Were Silent: A Plea to American Christians to Consider the Plot of the DACA, DREAMERS, and the Refugee and Immigrant Families”
I’m very concerned about the attitude of the current American administration and American Christianity toward the individuals and families that fall under the category of DACA, Dreamers, and (illegal) Immigrants.
I’m worried about their current and future state in this country because they’re being mistreated and dehumanized by the current administration; I’m also worried because of the dreadful silence of American Christians and American Evangelicals concerning the plot and status of this group of individuals and families. My fear is that the United States is progressively becoming a fascist state. I’m also worried that a lot of cruel things that happened to the Jews in Germany in the first half of the twentieth-century, especially in the 1940s, could potentially happen in America and to the so-called illegal and undocumented people and families.
The Jews were considered illegal people in Germany; they were also accused of taking German jobs, elevating poverty and hunger in Germany, and increasing unemployment and crime rates in Germany. The Jewish people were also portrayed as criminals, murderers, thieves, lazy, unpatriotic, and anti-German. The Jews were the victims of an unjust and racist system.
Unfortunately, the majority of the German Christian population of that historical era was silent on the suffering and mistreatment of the Jews. As a result, Jews were ridiculed, dehumanized, humiliated, expelled from Germany, tortured, executed, and eventually, they became victims of one of the greatest human genocides in the first half of the twentieth-century. The Jewish genocide happened because many German Christians unashamedly supported the public policies of the German state, and many of them were fervent Natzis. Jews in Germany not only suffered mass deportation to countries they have not known or even visited. Jewish families were separated from each other because of unjust and inhumane immigration policies and anti-Semitism.
I hope American Christians of all denominational expressions and correspondingly Evangelical Christians would muster up their courage to speak out against the current xenophobia, forced deportation, and sinful actions of this present administration against immigrant families, the DACA, and dreamers, and the so-called illegal people. Not only this group of individuals are suffering; the lives of their American friends, co-workers, classmates, and individuals of the same church have forever transformed. They sympathize with them and mourn over their situation. They’re also worried about the future.
I’m worried about the silence of American Christians on these moral and ethical issues. I pray we won’t follow the footsteps of the German Christians in the time of Hitler and the Jewish Holocaust. May God grant us the zeal, passion, boldness, and Christ’s love to fight for those who are weak and vulnerable!
God has commanded his people and the church to speak out on matters of justice and injustice, human oppression, socio-political issues, economic matters, and power dynamics and relations in our culture; as Walter Brueggermann affirms,
“The church has a huge stake in breaking the silence, because the God of the Bible characteristically appears at the margins of established power arrangements, whether theological or socioeconomic and political.”
I’m asking American Christians to take a stand on these moral issues because American Evangelicals are a powerful group of individuals whose influence extends to the sphere of American politics and public policies.
I’m asking American Christians to take a stand on these urgent issues because love and compassion are greater than xenophobia and racism.
I’m asking American Christians to speak against the injustice in the American Immigration policies and laws because they target a particular group of people and racial groups, the non-European and brown individuals and families.
I’m asking followers of Christ to counter the evil and injustice in our political system because the Christian God is a Good of justice and of the biblical mandate to practice justice in public, to show hospitality to strangers and immigrants, and to fight for the cause of the oppressed, the poor, and underprivileged families and individuals. This is what the message of the Gospel looks like in practice and action. The cause of (American) patriotism and nationalism is not greater than the cause of the Gospel and the divine call to embrace and love the weak.
Let us show kindness and compassion to this group of individuals and families.
Let us be the Salt of the earth and Light of the world that Christ has called to be.
Let us embody the message of the Gospel in our moral choices, everyday decision, and action.
Let the world see we are truly Christ’s disciples and followers by supporting his values and walking in the light.
“35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
*** I know some of you friends will find some of my words in this post too strong or will say that the American context and the German context are not the same. Whatever your position is on these important matters, remember that all human life is sacred before God and that people regardless of their cultural, racial, ethnic, and linguistic background, and immigration status need to be treated like humans. All people have human and natural rights, and their basic rights to live and to be free need to be protected and maintained.
Furthermore, on a personal note, I immigrated to the United States when I was 15 yrs old. I came to this country legally and with my proper documents issued by the U.S. Immigration. After living in the states for 7 yrs, I became a naturalized American citizen. I’m going to turn 40 yrs old in March this year and have spent more time (24 yrs to be exact) in the U.S. than the country of my birth. My now deceased father, who came to the United States in 1979, did not have the proper documents, approved by the U.S. Immigration, at his arrival. I was only one yr old when he immigrated to the States. After several years of hard work, he was able to obtain gradually a work permit, resident card, and eventually became a naturalized American citizen. He used the benefits and advantages of his U.S.citizenship to bring legally his seven children and wife to the United States. If I remember correctly, the entire process to get us in the states was close to 10 years from the time my father petitioned for us.